August, 2017

Founder Friendly

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Long time VC watcher, writer, and analyst Dan Primack suggested on Friday that the days of VCs trying to out “founder friendly” each other are now over. It is an interesting observation and was worthy of a reply. The VC industry is highly competitive for the best opportunities and we certainly do try to ingratiate ourselves and our firms to the entrepreneurs who will decide who gets to invest in their companies and who does not.

Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

View from Seed

What will the future hold? It’s a question every VC asks themselves and the entrepreneurs they invest in. Some conclude that certain sectors or technologies — like AI, blockchain, VR — will define the next decade.

Trending Sources

Working Outside the Tech Bubble

Steve Blank

Annual note to self – most of the world exists outside the tech bubble. —– We have a summer home in New England in a semi-rural area, just ~10,000 people in town, with a potato farm across the street. Drive down the road and you can see the tall stalks of corn waving on other farms. Most people aren’t in tech or law or teaching in universities; they fall solidly in what is called working-class.

What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck?

Gust

So you’ve developed a game-changing product, formed a business with a killer team, quit your job, and are rolling the product out to market. Your business is the next unicorn, and all is good in the world. Fantastic. Now only one thing is inhibiting your company’s growth: you have no money. For many founders of high-growth startups, bootstrapping has limits. Read more >. The post What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck? appeared first on The Gust Blog.

Why Meritocracy Doesn’t Work

Grasshopper Herder

The anti-diversity manifesto written by a mystery Googler has put a spotlight on diversity efforts in the tech industry. Anti-diversity proponents say that meritocracy justifies the lack of diversity in tech. But the real question is: Does meritocracy work?

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How to Write a Mission Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Up and Running

I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy —which does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.

I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers.

It Can All Change In A Day

Feld Thoughts

On July 28th, my partner Jason told me that Matt Bencke, the co-founder and CEO of Mighty AI , had suddenly gotten a serious cancer diagnosis. While Jason was on Matt’s board, I had spent plenty of time with him and, as one would expect, was shocked. I immediately sent Matt a note that said: I will keep confidential, but I wanted to send you love and good karma. You are a special person. I’ll be thinking good thoughts and sending you positive energy multiple times a day.

6 Situations Where A Business Plan Does Not Add Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Writing a business plan is hard work, so I get lots of pushback from prospective new venture founders that it’s just a waste of their valuable time in this rapidly changing environment. They all claim to have the plan in their head, and writing it down will only slow down their success.

Diversity is an Innovation Metric

Grasshopper Herder

Diversity is a hot topic, but what is not often discussed is the fact that diverse teams are more innovative. Read more about why diversity is an innovation metric. The post Diversity is an Innovation Metric appeared first on GrasshopperHerder.com.

You adapt, or you adopt, or you die

Steve Blank

I was in Boston and stopped by the Harvard Business Review for their IdeaCast podcast. I shared my current thinking about innovation in companies and government agencies. The interviewer, Curt Nickisch was great and managed to get me to summarize several years of learning in one podcast. He even got me to tell my Steve Jobs interview story. It’s worth a listen. Listen to the entire interview here : Or listen to just parts of the interview: 3:29 Entrepreneurs make their own luck.

4 Reasons You Might Not Want to Be VC Funded

Up and Running

While there’s a certain cachet that comes with being able to say you raised a round of funding for your startup, realize that it’s a lot of hard work to actually secure venture capital (VC) funding , and there are reasons you might not want to.

15 Entrepreneurs Reveal What Entrepreneurship Means to Them

Hearpreneur

Being an entrepreneur is a source of pride. It also evidences an individual with a huge amount of discipline and focus to be able to build a business a lot of times from just an idea. It is the ambition of an entrepreneur that built the most profitable and successful companies.

Saying No 100 Times A Day

Feld Thoughts

Given my role in the world, I say no a lot. I get hundreds of unsolicited emails a day, often asking me to get together, invest, or look at something. Lots of VCs and execs who I know simply ignore and don’t respond to these emails. I’ve always tried to at least respond to them unless they are clearly a mass email.

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10 Common Dilemmas That Derail Many Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs struggle with many startup founders dilemmas in building their business, and these key dilemmas are probably the biggest source of pain and failure for the entrepreneur lifestyle.

Change: Damned if you do, damned more if you don’t

A Smart Bear: Startups and Marketing for Geeks

Top workplace complaints: 1) The way things are 2) Change. — Andrew Annett (@akannett) June 1, 2015. This plays out in many important ways: Customers demand an improved UX , but they don’t want to learn a new UX. Team members want consistency but don’t want policies. Developers want to be more efficient but don’t want to change how they work. Strategy is ineffective if it’s constantly in flux, but a strategy that remains unchanged in the presence of new information is incorrect.

4 Tips to Help Entrepreneurs Stay On Top of the Latest Trends

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

As fast as the business world is moving these days, it can feel impossible to stay up to date on the latest trends – especially when you’re a solo practitioner or small business owner. What you need is a plan of attack for staying current.

3 Tips for a Strong Startup Company Culture

Up and Running

At BarBend , we like to think we know a thing or two about building strong, healthy bodies—and as a newer business, we’re also interested in creating a strong and healthy company culture.

The #1 Mistake That Entrepreneurs Continue To Make And How To Avoid It

YoungUpstarts

by Bryan Miles, CEO and co-founder of BELAY. Entrepreneurs are an interesting bunch.

Effective Networking

Feld Thoughts

Adam Grant has a superb essay in the New York Times this weekend titled Networking is Overrated. I enjoy Adam’s writing immensely (his book Give and Take is a huge inspiration for my upcoming book #GiveFirst). Early in the essay, he has a strong lead in. “It’s true that networking can help you accomplish great things. But this obscures the opposite truth: Accomplishing great things helps you develop a network.” ” He finishes the essay with a great punch line.

8 Principles For Keeping Customers With You For Life

Startup Professionals Musings

Most businesses spend big money testing their brand logo, catchy marketing phrases, and demographics, but spend little time training and validating that their employees can and do deliver memorable experiences to their customers.

Evolving our investment strategy

The Equity Kicker

This is a long post (1,900 words). For those of you who are time poor here’s the tltr: Forward Partners operates a focused investment strategy because it helps us make better investment decisions and provide better support to our companies.

6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Conference Call Quality

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Conference calls are a necessary evil for most entrepreneurs. Email is a remarkably efficient mode of communication, but it lacks the conversational nature of a conference call.

6 Traits to Look for When Choosing a Business Partner

Up and Running

When you’re passionate about something and deeply committed to seeing it succeed, it can be hard to share control. However, you’ve probably already realized that when it comes to launching your new business, the “if you want it done right, do it yourself” approach can only get you so far.

18 Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Business Quote

Hearpreneur

André Gide wrote that,”Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” Quotes are an important part of motivation, though many of them are repeats of another turn of phrase.

Startups – Beware The Changing Palo Alto Investment Model

YoungUpstarts

by Germán Montoya is the Chief Strategy and Creative Officer at Rokk3r Labs. Venture Capitalism is changing. Almost synonymous with this startup-focused era, the once indomitable VC investor sector is changing and adapting to deal with the changing nature of entrepreneurship.

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10 Principles For Surviving New Business Challenges

Startup Professionals Musings

As the economy flourishes after some tough economic times, more and more people seem to be turning to entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional employment. I applaud this trend, but caution all of you thinking this direction to approach entrepreneurship with your eyes wide open.

Innovation With Purpose

The Startup Magazine

Innovation is a widely used term, and as with many other words, its meaning keeps evolving. Lately it has become more of a proxy for developing a new high-tech thing. But what is innovation really for? Early Influences.

4 Powerful Ways To Slay The Self-Doubt That Sabotages You

Blogtrepreneur | Entrepreneur Blog

Every entrepreneur has doubts about their ability to make it big, be a success, and change the world, but self-doubt is the troll under the bridge that will keep you from even trying. In his inspirational book The Light in the Heart , Roy T.

8 Reasons Business Plans Fail That No One Wants to Talk About

Up and Running

As a full-time editor and academic mentor at an academic writing service, I have read hundreds of business plans over the years. To help students and startups, I have compiled a list of reasons business plans are rejected or given a low grade.

Announcing K9 Ventures III, L.P. – A $42M technology-focused Pre-Seed fund

K9 Ventures

42: The Answer to the ultimate fund size? Those of you who have read or watched the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are aware of the pop culture meme around the number 42. Yes, 42: The answer to life, the Universe, and everything.

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This Is Why You Should Start A Subscription Box Business

YoungUpstarts

by Stefan Pretty, founder of Subbly. Subscription business models have been around for a pretty long time, but thanks to modern technology, this model has evolved from milk or newspapers delivery to a versatile eCommerce experience.

10 Key Business Domains With ‘Big Data’ Opportunities

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though ‘big data’ has now been around for several years, the opportunities for startups seem to keep growing, just as the amount of data keeps growing. According to IBM , companies have captured more data in the last two years than in the previous 2000 years.

Tianyi Joe Zhu, Entrepreneur and Startup Advocate

The Startup Magazine

Here at The Startup Magazine , we don’t typically “do” press releases, but occasionally an item comes to us that warrants including it in the magazine.